The exhibition runs till 30th of September 2018 at:
198 Shaftesbury Avenue,
London WC2H 8JL
Open 12:00 PM - 1:00 AM
“Julio is a cool cat. I became aware of his work when I used one of his paintings as the poster image for an exhibition I was curating on the Southbank. It was the stand out piece of the exhibition. His work is vibrant, intelligent, relevant, and quirky. I love his work. Welcome to his world.”
JulioCesartist is a self-taught artist who discovered his painting talent at the lowest point of his life, when he was incarcerated. His journey as a painter has been an inspiration to others who are in the same situation he was in and the story has been narrated to people through National Prison Radio, to help promote self-discovery in those hard times.
As he continues to paint, the messages behind Julio’s work have evolved from nostalgic origins to more politically charged, evocative themes.
“I like to leave the interpretation of my pieces to the viewer, but at the same time, several of my paintings were created to expose and question issues like freedom of speech and the state of world affairs at present”.
The exhibition has been curated to show two sides of his journey by displaying some of his works produced while in prison – a visual diary of paintings that communicates his oppressed world behind prison walls and his determination to break down barriers to discover inner freedom and hopes for a new future – accompanied by most of his art works created since his release. The latter are big, which he adapted to make a statement about the reversal of the restrictions he had in prison and which most artists take for granted e.g. space, light and canvas size.
"I have focused on my strengths with my use of colour and animals in my creations, which have given me my own style and which I have used to illustrate my thoughts and emotions about the world we live in."
His works showcase the beauty of the wildlife being wiped out by the appalling greed of corporations and trophy hunters, followed by his latest work which was created as his response to the tactics that Trump used to rally support and win votes in the US elections.
“My painting, A TRAMP WITHOUT RAGS, has been the most time-consuming piece I have created. It is my depiction of the vile individual I think Trump is without going anywhere near the gutter his rhetoric roams.
“Trump has a track record as a sexist, chauvinist male which is a cause for serious concern given his position, and in just one year in office he has practically erased the gender equality advancements achieved through many years of lobbying. The transgender model in the piece represents the female, vulnerable in the workplace where sexual harassment, pay gap divides and the male dominated world, which, Trump has very openly made acceptable by degrading women with his words and actions, continue to exist.
“During his campaign his attack on the transgender community serving in the American forces was one of the biggest blows delivered to that community: 29 transgender women were killed in 2017 in the state of Alabama alone. “
In a world in which there is so much beauty, in his artwork Julio asks: why do we give pre-eminence to such ugliness.